Hurricane Harvey is still dumping water on south Texas, and one the first impulses is to want to help.
In major disasters, the desire to help can sometimes become a hindrance if not channeled correctly.
Organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army have a great deal of experience in responding to disasters, as do many church organizations.
When looking for an outlet on how to be of help, the best avenues are to plug in with those who are already mobilizing to respond to the storm.
Traditionally, one of the best things you can do is to donate.
The American Red Cross is soliciting donations of both blood and money. There are links at their website to do both: http://www.redcross.org/hp/harvey1. You can also text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 contribution.
The Red Cross currently has a blood drive scheduled from 12-6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5 at the Weatherford Public Library, 1014 Charles St. Blood donations can also be made at any location of Carter Blood Care. Call 877-385-8724 for the location nearest you to schedule a donation.
For information on donating to the Salvation Army, visit http://www.salvationarmy.org.
Finally, check with your own denomination’s relief agency to see what help is needed.
For people with time to give, the best course, again, is to plug into an organization that has the expertise and know-how to provide the most help.
To volunteer in the Red Cross efforts, visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1
To volunteer for Salvation Army efforts, visit http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/volunteer
Various church denominations also have volunteer opportunities available.
One important thing to remember is that a disaster situation is chaotic and often dangerous. The best course for those who want to help is to work with the proper agencies who have the expertise to make sure your efforts are truly helpful.
As we receive information from local governmental agencies, we will relay that information to the public as well.